Week 12 was as unpredictable as any week of NFL action in recent history.
We set a new season-high for most games decided by 16 points or more in one week. We also tied the season-high for most games decided by 3 points or fewer. Games were either total nail biters or complete laughers. There was no middle ground in Week 12.
The Jets still haven’t won. Pittsburgh still hasn’t lost.
30 of the 32 NFL teams are still eligible for the 2020 NFL postseason! One of the teams who isn’t rhymes with Mets … the other rhymes with Lagluars.
Did you miss the Week 12 action and need to catch up? Watch every game but want some interesting takes? Here ya go!
The passer rating by Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in Houston’s 41-25 Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions.
Watson completed 17 of 25 passes for 318 yards. He threw 4 touchdowns and 0 picks. 150.4 is the best passer rating posted by Deshaun Watson since Week 5 of 2019 in which he had a perfect day – a 158.3 rating.
On that day, the Texans defeated the Falcons 53-32. Watson was 28 of 33 for 426 yards, 5 touchdowns, and no picks.
The Texans are a one-man show these days – that man is Deshaun Watson. His college coach – Dabo Swinney – maintains that Watson is the Michael Jordan of football. This is high praise, but games like this give us a glimpse into a future reality where Deshaun Watson earns the role of best quarterback in the league.
The number of days since Alex Smith won back-to-back games as quarterback in the NFL.
Smith led Washington to back-to-back wins in Weeks 11 (Cincinnati) and 12 (Cowboys). Smith missed the entire 2019 season with injury. His last back-to-back wins were in Weeks 6 and 7 of 2018 when Smith led his Redskins to victories against Dallas and the New York Giants.
Alex Smith became an inspirational hero after his Thanksgiving Day performance against Dallas this year. Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in 2018 which nearly cost him his leg and even his life.
After 17 surgeries and countless rehab sessions, Smith reappeared in the NFL this year. On Thursday, Smith announced his presence as he orchestrated a 41-16 slaughter of divisional opponent Dallas – pulling Washington up to 1st place in the NFC East.
The number of consecutive losses by the 5-6 Chicago Bears.
Those proficient in basic maths will deduce that Chicago was once 5-1. That’s right! They were running the NFC North. Chicago was a shoo in for the playoffs.
Several weeks later and I doubt teams are even concerned when they see the Bears on the schedule anymore. The Bears are a very beatable team of late.
Sunday night’s implosion versus Green Bay was another knife in the back of this deflated, dying Bears team. The Bears lost 41-25 but were down 41-10 at one point. The game was a complete massacre from start to finish.
I haven’t been in Bears’ practices or player meetings, but I can imagine the mood is very somber.
5 games is the longest losing streak in the NFC. The only teams with longer losing streaks are the Jets (11) and the Jaguars (10). You know it’s a rough year when your only solace is “at least we aren’t as bad as the Jets and Jaguars“.
5-6 is not a hopeless record. The Bears can salvage this season. Chicago’s remaining 5 games are against Detroit (4-7), Houston (4-7), Minnesota (5-6), Jacksonville (1-10), and Green Bay (8-3).
With only 1 winning team on the remaining schedule, I could see Chicago finishing 4-1 and nabbing a playoff spot at 9-7. Is it likely? No, but it wouldn’t be the craziest ending to a season in NFL history.
The number of receiving yards by Texans’ receiver Will Fuller in Houston’s 41-25 Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions.
171 is the second-highest yardage total of Fuller’s 5-year career. In Week 5 of 2019, Will Fuller racked up 217 yards on 14 catches as Houston obliterated Atlanta.
Houston needs more games like this out of Will Fuller if they are to make any noise in their division. The Texans will settle for having Fuller on the field. Injuries have been the bane of his career – sabotaging any hopes of building on his sporadic bouts of success.
The number of games decided by 3 points or less in Week 12 (the Eagles-Seahawks MNF game and Steelers-Ravens makeup game have yet to be played … so it could be more than 6).
This is the most close games in one week since Week 11 of 2018 when there were 9 such games.
The number of games decided by 16 points or more in Week 12 (the Eagles-Seahawks MNF game and Steelers-Ravens makeup game have yet to be played … so it could be more than 7).
There were actually more huge blowouts (7) than close games (6) this week. 7 games with margins of 16+ is the most in one week since Week 15 of the 2019 season when there were 8 such games.
The number of field goals drilled by Falcons’ kicker Younghoe Koo in Atlanta’s 43-6 drubbing of Las Vegas on Sunday.
The Korean-born Koo boasts the best name in football – we had to get him some coverage.
Koo nailed all 5 of his field goal attempts on Sunday, including one from 54. Younghoe is no stranger to making field goals. His is 29 for 30 this season – the best percentage of any kicker with more than 20 attempts.
— The Hard Earned Yard (@HardEarnedYard) February 23, 2020
The number of completed passes by the Denver Broncos in their 31-3 loss to New Orleans in Week 12.
All of Denver’s quarterbacks were ineligible Sunday because the team was afraid they might get sick … so they sacrificed the game by starting practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton.
I don’t like that a virus which may or may not have been contracted by one player forced the Broncos to throw a professional football game, but that is the world we are now living in.
This was a great game to watch if you like bad football. The Broncos became the first team since the 2011 Broncos to go the entire first half without a completion.
Hinton finally completed 1 pass (and only 1 pass) in the second half. Hinton’s final line was 1 of 9 for 13 yards and 2 picks. Denver became the first team since the 1998 Chargers to throw more interceptions than completions.
The total number of punt yards by Rams punter Johnny Hekker in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to San Francisco.
Hekker is one of the best punters in the biz and he proved it in Week 12 vs the 49ers. Hekker punted 7 times for 343 yards – an average of 49 yards per punt. 49ers returners were stymied all game – as Hekker averaged a net of 42.3 yards per punt.
Sam Darnold’s QBR in the Jets 20-3 loss to Miami in Week 12.
QBR is similar to passer rating, but it is on a 100-point scale and clutch situations are weighted heavily. 18.2 is pitiful, but it is only the 2nd-lowest mark of Darnold’s season. Against Indianapolis in Week 3, Darnold posted a pathetic QBR of 10.7 in New York’s 36-7 loss.
Let’s look at a quarterback from an equally horrible team and compare. I’m thinking Gardner Minshew from the 1-10 Jags. His season-low QBR is 29.7 – nearly 3 times greater than Darnold’s season low.